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ADA History

ADA is an acronym for the Americans with Disabilities Act. This law was enacted by Congress in 1990, signed by President George H. W. Bush July 26th, 1990. The law was later amended in January 2009.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is considered a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based upon disability in areas such as employment and public services by government and private entities. For the purpose of coverage under the ADA, a person with a disability is defined as anyone that has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or has a history of such impairment, or is perceived or regarded as having such an impairment. Such “Major life functions” would include walking, seeing, breathing, hearing, speaking, learning, working and other self-caring or manual tasks.

ADA is made up of “Titles.” Title I addresses equality in employment, and Title II deals with access for individuals to government programs including public transportation. Title III addresses access to public accommodations and commercial facilities and include a wide array of facilities such as restaurants, hotels, theaters. Retail stores, schools, libraries, parks day care centers and more. Title IV covers telecommunications and Title V covers miscellaneous provisions.

In summary, the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the areas of employment, public services provided by state and local governments, public services operated by private entities, transportation, and telecommunications.

For a more complete history, description and comprehensive resource on ADA, please visit www.ada.gov